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research studies database
Research Studies provide concise, bulleted Findings, Policy Implications, and Recommendations on key issues, such as:

  • High school rigor and exit exams
  • Better serving English language learners
  • Boosting reading and math achievement
  • College entry and completion
  • Reducing dropout rates and increasing graduation rates
  • And many more!  (Go to the database.)

progress of education reform
progress of ed reformThe Progress of Education Reform addresses the hottest education issue and provides information in a concise and easy-to-read format based on the most recent studies and reports.

ECS Document Collections
ECS regularly issues useful compilations, summaries and/or comparisons of state policies—enacted or pending—on a wide variety of education topics, listed on the right. For a list of our most current documents, please see our What's New page.

Please use the links below to download PDFs that include all the documents for a given year.

If you'd like to order a print copy, contact the ECS Distribution Center at 303.299.3692 or jivey@ecs.org.

Reprint Permission
ECS is pleased to have other organizations or individuals share its materials with their constituents. To request permission to excerpt part of our publications either in print
or electronically, please e-mail ecs@ecs.org, subject: Reprint Permission. State the full name of the document, and supply detail about how the permission will be used (audience, quantity, etc).  A response will be provided within 24 hours.

 

 

ECS Policy Analysis Topics:

(Note: Not all topics have an ECS document associated with them. If you are looking for information on a specific topic, you can use our search function.)

Teaching Quality

The Progress of Education Reform: Teacher Expectations of Students PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform provides a review of the research on the relationship between teacher expectations and student achievement. It also explores how policy can be used to improve how schools are evaluating for, monitoring, and providing training to teachers on the potential negative effects fixed teacher expectations. (Emily Workman, ECS, December 2012)...

Reduction In Force Policies PDF - This analysis highlights the primary factors considered in state "reduction in force" policies, in addition to any secondary and tertiary factors that are to be considered thereafter. It also draws attention to those states that strictly prohibit the consideration of tenure or seniority in layoff decisions, as well as those that permit tenure and/or seniority to be considered only when a tie-breaker is required for otherwise comparable teachers. (Emily Workman, ECS, April 2012) ...

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Professional Development - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Teacher Contracts (Not Tenure) - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Compensation and Diversified Pay--Pay-for-Performance - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

Teacher Evaluator Training: Ensuring Quality Classroom Observers PDF - This paper addresses the subject of ensuring quality classroom evaluations of teachers through the use of trained observers. Specifically, the paper provides examples of local and state approaches to training the individuals responsible for observing and evaluating teachers. (Chris Leahy, ECS, March 2012)...

12 for 2012 - 12 for 2012 is an ECS “read of the field,” built on our scrutiny of new reports and research, and our analysis of emerging drivers of change. The 12 policy areas do not represent an exhaustive list of the critical issues for the coming year, nor is this report intended to dictate your education policy priorities for 2012. Rather, 12 for 2012 is intended to stimulate thinking around how best to craft the “2.0” of powerful policy across the states. (ECS, 2012)...

State Collective Bargaining Policies for Teachers PDF - Collective bargaining for teachers is a contentious issue that promises to grow increasingly complex as governance reform — changing who makes what decisions about public education – takes center stage. Collective bargaining, if a state allows it, always occurs at the school district level. State policy, however, influences the process in a number of ways, from determining the scope of bargaining to dictating the terms of arbitration. This ECS StateNote presents the current collective bargaining state policies across the 50 states. (Updated by Emily Workman, ECS, December 2011)...

Appeal Processes -- State Teacher Evaluation Systems PDF - With a new generation of higher-stake teacher evaluations, pressure for checks and balances is growing. This document highlights provisions that allow for some level of appeal of a teacher's evaluation. (Kathy Christie, Education Commission of the States, November 2011) ...

The Progress of Education Reform PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform describes "pay-for-performance" (PFP) models and presents recent research findings and their implications for policy. It looks at PFP systems broadly and includes not only systems that provide rewards for increased student achievement, but also for other tasks such as engaging in professional development and taking on added roles and responsibilities. (Barbara Thompson and Paul Baumann, ECS, October 2011)...

Teacher Tenure or Continuing Contract Laws PDF - More state legislatures are beginning to embed teacher performance evaluation in decisions to grant tenure or to explicitly state the terms of contracts. And an increasing number of states are distinguishing between renewal at the end of a teacher’s contract and dismissal during the term of a contract. This document updates ECS’ 50-state look at teacher tenure and continuing contract laws....

Teaching Quality: How prevalent are research-based practices in the classroom? - Access related research titles from the ECS Research Studies Database. Links embedded in titles will take you to each study's major findings and recommendations....

Teaching Quality: What helps recruit and retain good teachers? - Access related research titles from the ECS Research Studies Database. Links embedded in titles will take you to each study's major findings and recommendations....

Teaching Quality: What metrics best measure teacher effectiveness? - Access related research titles from the ECS Research Studies Database. Links embedded in titles will take you to each study's major findings and recommendations....

Teaching Quality: What preparation and practices matter? - Access related research titles from the ECS Research Studies Database. Links embedded in titles will take you to each study's findings and recommendations....

The Progress of Education Reform: Teacher Leaders PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform discusses the roles teacher leaders can play; how they can contribute to overall school and student success; how some states are formally supporting teacher leaders and the concept of teacher leadership; and policy implications and recommendations for state policymakers on how to explore and/or expand teacher leadership in their states....

Iowa's Statewide Professional Development Model PDF - Iowa's approach to professional development is distinctive because it is statewide and comprehensive; it addresses development of school leaders as well as teachers; it fosters engagement of all teachers, not just those who choose to participate; and it centers around student learning. (Dinah Frey, ECS, November 2010)...

From the ECS State Policy Database: Background Checks - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: P-3 Teaching Quality/Professional Development - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Certification and Licensure--Assignment - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Certification and Licensure--Highly Qualified Teachers - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Recruitment and Retention--At-Risk Schools - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Teacher Attitudes - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Unions/Collective Bargaining - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Unions/Collective Bargaining--Strikes - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Working Conditions - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS Research Studies Database - A snapshot of research reports which fall under the question, What metrics best measure teacher effectiveness? (The titles are links.)...

The Progress of Education Reform: Teacher Merit Pay PDF - The idea of merit pay programs for educators has been around for several decades and it is starting to be implemented in a growing number of districts around the country. But we have to ask: What do we really know about the impact of merit pay on students? This issue of The Progress for Education Reform looks at what impact some of these merit programs have had on student learning. (Michael Griffith, Education Commission of the States, June 2010)...

Teacher Evaluation: New Approaches for a New Decade PDF - Whether spurred by the hope of Race to the Top funds or the research showing that students in ineffective teachers’ classrooms do not make the academic gains of children taught by more effective educators, a number of states have enacted legislation in the last year to amend teacher evaluation policies. This ECS policy brief provides highlights of these new provisions....

Teacher Salaries and Benefits 2003--08 MS Word PDF - This ECS StateNote examines National Center for Education Statistics figures on salary and benefit statistics for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. (Stephanie Rose, Education Commission of the States, May 2010)...

What Governors Need to Know: Highlights of State Education Systems PDF - This multistate compilation includes states' number of operating districts, average students per district, per-student spending, free or reduced-price lunch eligible students, percent of K-12 revenue from state sources, state and local school revenue, full-day kindergarten requirements, compulsory school ages and more. (Kyle Zinth and Melodye Bush, Education Commission of the States, updated December 2010)...

Improving the Skills and Knowledge of the High School Teachers We Already Have PDF - While numerous state efforts seek to recruit, train and retain more teachers, fewer initiatives focus on developing teachers, particlarly high school teachers, once they enter the classroom. This policy brief examines seven high-leverage components to strengthen teacher professional development at the high school level and provides state policy suggestions for each. (Jennifer Dounay and Kathy Christie, Education Commission of the States, October 2008)...

The Progress of Education Reform: Increasing Teacher Retention PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform highlights data and research on why teachers leave, how attrition affects teacher shortages across the nation and the importance of working conditions for student performance. It also includes links to additional resources on teacher attrition and teacher working conditions. (Tricia Coulter and Ashley Zaleski, Education Commission of the States, December 2007)...

Induction Programs for New and Beginning Teachers PDF - Induction programs and mentoring for new and beginning teachers are on the rise in many states. Research indicates that novice teachers benefit from receiving orientation to their job and teaming up with veteran teachers and are, therefore, less likely to leave the teaching profession then those who receive no training or support. This ECS StateNote identifies which states have induction programs in place, the definition or components of the program and whether it is voluntary or required. (Jeanne Kaufmann, Education Commission of the States, December 2007)...

New and Beginning Teacher Mentoring PDF - Induction programs and mentoring for new and beginning teachers are on the rise in many states. Research indicates that novice teachers benefit from receiving orientation to their job and teaming up with veteran teachers and are, therefore, less likely to leave the teaching profession then those who receive no training or support. This ECS StateNote identifies which states have mentoring policies in place and includes information on the components of the program, requirements of mentors, compensation for mentors and whether the program is voluntary or required. (Jeanne Kaufmann, Education Commission of the States, December 2007)...

State Induction Programs and Mentoring for New and Beginning Teachers PDF - Induction programs and mentoring for new and beginning teachers are on the rise in many states. Research indicates that novice teachers benefit from receiving orientation to their jobs and teaming up with veteran teachers and are, therefore, less likely to leave the teaching profession then those who receive no training or support. This ECS StateNote defines and delineates induction programs and mentoring and identifies which states have these policies in place. (Jeanne Kaufmann, Education Commission of the States, December 2007)...

Special Education Teacher Certification and Licensure - 50 State Database - This database, compiled in 2007 by the Education Commission of the States as a partner in the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, contains information on state level policies regarding the certification and licensure of special education teachers. (ECS 2007)...

Teacher Certification and Licensure - 50 State Database - This database, compiled by the Education Commission of the States as a partner in the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, contains information on state level policies regarding the certification and licensure of teachers. (Teaching Quality and Leadership Institute, ECS, 2006)...

Funding Diversified Teacher Compensation Systems PDF - Changing the way teachers are paid to include outcomes, such as student performance, or incentives for teaching in at-risk schools is gaining support in districts and states across the country. The process is challenging, however, and policymakers need to be aware of the various issues involved. With the generous support of the Joyce Foundation, ECS has created a series of four issue papers covering various aspects of diversified compensation systems.This first paper discusses funding issues involved in the design, piloting and implementation of diversified teacher pay systems. Examples of funding structures and sources of current systems are presented as are questions and issues policymakers need to consider if they are exploring the use of these systems in their own states and districts. (Christine Palumbo, Education Commission of the States, June 2007)...

Student Performance Assessment in Diversified Teacher Compensation Systems PDF - Changing the way teachers are paid to include outcomes, such as student performance, or incentives for teaching in at-risk schools is gaining support in districts and states across the country. The process is challenging, however, and policymakers need to be aware of the various issues involved. With the generous support of the Joyce Foundation, ECS has created a series of four issue papers covering various aspects of diversified compensation systems. This third paper discusses the use of student performance in teacher evaluation including value-added methods and the use of student achievement scores on standardized tests. Questions and issues policymakers need to consider if they are exploring the use of student performance in teacher evaluation are also presented. (Jeanne Kaufman, Education Commission of the States, June 2007)...

Teacher Evaluation in Diversified Teacher Compensation Systems PDF - Changing the way teachers are paid to include outcomes, such as student performance, or incentives for teaching in at-risk schools is gaining support in districts and states across the country. The process is challenging, however, and policymakers need to be aware of the various issues involved. With the generous support of the Joyce Foundation, ECS has created a series of four issue papers covering various aspects of diversified compensation systems. This second paper discusses various methods of evaluating teachers that are not related to student performance, such as in-class observation and evaluation of a teacher’s knowledge and skills. Examples of evaluation systems are presented as are questions and issues policymakers need to consider if they are exploring the use of these systems in their own states.. (Angela Baber, Education Commission of the States, June 2007)...

The Use of Diversified Compensation Systems to Address Equitable Teacher Distribution PDF - Changing the way teachers are paid to include outcomes, such as student performance, or incentives for teaching in at-risk schools is gaining support in districts and states across the country. The process is challenging, however, and policymakers need to be aware of the various issues involved. With the generous support of the Joyce Foundation, ECS has created a series of four issue papers covering various aspects of diversified compensation systems. This fourth paper in the series reviews the use of diversified compensation systems as a means to encourage quality teachers to teach in at-risk schools by highlighting promising efforts and practices and areas that are not addressed in these systems. (Anne Martin, Education Commission of the States, June 2007)...

State Equity Plans that Address Working Conditions as a Means to Increase Teacher Retention and Equitable Teacher Distribution PDF - NCLB requires that all teachers of core academic subjects be highly qualified. States are working diligently to achieve this goal, but are facing many obstacles. One of the largest challenges that states face is the issue of equitable distribution of experienced teachers. This ECS StateNote reports on transfer and attrition rates of teachers and the percentage of state equity plans that target teacher working conditions as a means to increase teacher retention and equitable distribution of teachers. (Angela Baber, Education Commission of the States, January 2007)...

State-Level Testing Requirements for Teacher Certification MS Word PDF - This ECS StateNote addresses teacher certification testing requirements across all 50 States, the District of Columbia and the four U.S. territories. The report classfies states according to whether they: (1) have their own teacher certification exams, (2) require some combination of the Educational Testing Services Praxis exam series or (3) require some combination of different assessments for teacher certification. (Angela Baber, Education Commission of the States, January 2007)...

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Recruitment and Retention--High-Needs Subjects - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

Eight Questions on Teacher Recruitment and Retention: What Does the Research Say? A Summary of The Findings PDF - This paper summarizes the findings of an ECS report that reviewed 91 studies on teacher recruitment and retention in search of answers to eight questions that are of particular importance to policy and education leaders. (Michael Allen, Education Commission of the States, October 2005)...

Paraprofessional Database - This online database contains research from each of the 50 states regarding paraprofessional certification and qualification requirements, especially relating to the federal requirements for Title I professional development for paraprofessionals and assessment tests and passing scores for those tests, which are accepted and designated by states. See the ECS document Paraprofessional Database Research Navigator for research highlights....

ECS Professional Development Database: Full State Report - ...

Professional Standards Boards – State Policies MS Word PDF - Forty-six states have some type of professional standards board. Fifteen states have autonomous boards; six states have semi-autonomous boards; and 25 states have advisory boards. Four states and the District of Columbia do not have professional standards board. This ECS StateNote provides information on each state's board. (Education Commission of the States, December 2004)...

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Certification and Licensure - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Compensation and Diversified Pay--Retirement/Benefits - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Recruitment and Retention - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Induction Programs and Mentoring - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Evaluation and Effectiveness - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Certification and Licensure--Natl. Bd. for Prof. Teach. Stds. - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Certification and Licensure--State Prof. Standards Bds. - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Compensation and Diversified Pay - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Reduction in Force - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Teacher Rights - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Certification and Licensure--Alternative - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Certification and Licensure--Special Education - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Certification and Licensure--Substitute Teachers - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Paraprofessionals - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Preparation - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

From the ECS State Policy Database: Teaching Quality--Tenure or Continuing Contract - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

Model Language for Post-Tenure Review MS Word - This philosophical discussion is adapted from a 1997 Arizona Board of Regents' report, and summarizes Arizona's progress regarding its discussion of tenure. Although Arizona's report focuses on postsecondary tenure, with modifications, the suggestions and compromises that emerged after two years of study were highly applicable to the K-12 system and should be made available to policymakers considering changes in tenure at that level. (Education Commission of the States, August 1997)...

Online Databases
Roll over each database for a description.

p-3 archived databases
kindergarten artscan
k-12 choice
charter highly qualified requirements for special ed
choice-open enrollment NCLB
citizen-ed NCLB snaps
dual kindergarten
high school leadership
K-12 Paraprofessionals: Explore our findings for Title I Instructional Paraprofessional qualifications and certification requirements, paraprofessional professional development programs and state assessments for paraprofessionals.
school accountability literacy
service-learning teacher certification
postsecondary teacher comp
Postsecondary Teacher Professional Development
  teacher prep
  special-ed teacher certification
  dual
 
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